Studies on Tara-phosphonium Combination Tannage: Approach Towards a Metal Free Eco-benign Tanning System

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R. Aravindhan
B. Madhan
J. Raghava Rao


One of the important criteria determining the sustainability of an industrial activity is the ecological acceptability of the processing methods. Tanners throughout the world are looking for alternative eco friendly tanning systems. In the present work, metal free tanning system using a combination of Tetrakis Hydroxymethyl Phosphonium Sulphate (THPS) and Tara has been developed. This combination tanning is expected to be an effective eco-friendly mineral free tanning. The shrinkage temperature of the leathers obtained is 88oC.The tanning system is versatile in terms of processing both upper and garment leathers. The physical strength characteristics and organoleptic properties of the leathers obtained are comparable to that of chrome tanned leather.Environmental impact assessment shows that there is reduction in total solids when compared to control chrome tanning. Tara as a combination tanning agent not only improves the leather properties but also can act as a scavenger of free formaldehyde present in THPS tanned leather.

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